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Supreme Court Nomination: CRS Products

Description: This report lists key Congressional Research Service (CRS) products on the judicial decisions of Justice Kennedy and Judge Kavanaugh, as well as information on Supreme Court vacancies and nominations.
Date: July 12, 2018
Creator: Nolan, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Supreme Court Nomination: CRS Products

Description: This document provides a list of all the Congressional Research Service reports describing the judicial decisions of Justice Kennedy and Judge Kavanaugh, as well as Supreme Court vacancies and nominations.
Date: August 24, 2018
Creator: Nolan, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Doctrine of Constitutional Avoidance: A Legal Overview

Description: This report discusses select issues regarding judicial review, and offers some contemporary views on the Ashwander Doctrine, under which the Supreme Court avoids ruling decisively in cases that it deems able to be resolved outside of the court, non-constitutionally (Constitutional Avoidance).
Date: September 2, 2014
Creator: Nolan, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Constitutional Authority Statements and the Powers of Congress: An Overview

Description: This report provides an overview of Congress's powers under the Constitution and their role in interpreting the nation's founding document. It examines House Rule XII, clause 7(c), discussing the results of a recent study conducted by CRS of Constitutional Authority Statement (CAS) that were submitted during the last six months of the 114th Congress, and concludes by discussing trends with regard to the House's recent CAS practices and by providing considerations for congressional personnel drafting CASs.
Date: January 6, 2017
Creator: Nolan, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Death of Justice Scalia: Procedural Issues Arising on an Eight-Member Supreme Court

Description: This report provides an overview of the Supreme Court's procedural rules and requirements when the Court is staffed with fewer than nine members. It includes an overview of the Court's quorum requirements, rehearing procedures, and vote count practices, with a focus on how the Court has traditionally responded to a change of composition during a term. The report concludes by highlighting over a dozen cases from the current term that could result in an evenly divided Supreme Court.
Date: February 25, 2016
Creator: Nolan, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Legal Challenges and Solutions

Description: While considerable debate exists with regard to the best strategies for protecting America’s various cyber-systems and promoting cybersecurity, one point of general agreement amongst cyber-analysts is the perceived need for enhanced and timely exchange of cyber-threat intelligence both within the private sector and between the private sector and the government. This report examines the various legal issues that arise with respect to the sharing of cybersecurity intelligence, with a special focus on two distinct concepts: (1) sharing of cyberinformation within the government’s possession and (2) sharing of cyber-information within the possession of the private sector.
Date: March 16, 2015
Creator: Nolan, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities

Description: This report focuses on two main National Security Agency (NSA) collection activities approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978. The first is the bulk collection of telephony metadata for domestic and international telephone calls. The second involves the interception of Internet-based communications.
Date: May 21, 2015
Creator: Liu, Edward C. & Nolan, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Justice Kennedy Retires: Initial Considerations for Congress

Description: This report discusses the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy from the Supreme Court. In so doing, this post provides a broad overview of key legal issues Congress (and, more specifically the Senate, through its advice and consent role) may wish to consider as it reflects on Justice Kennedy's jurisprudence and how his eventual successor might shape the future of the Court, Congress, and the nation as a whole.
Date: June 28, 2018
Creator: Nolan, Andrew & Garcia, Michael John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh: His Jurisprudence and Potential Impact on the Supreme Court

Description: This report provides an overview of Judge Kavanaugh's jurisprudence and discusses his potential impact on the Court if he were to be confirmed to succeed Justice Kennedy. It focuses upon those areas of law where Justice Kennedy can be seen to have influenced the High Court's approach to certain issues or served as a fifth and deciding vote on the Court, with a view toward how Judge Kavanaugh might approach these same issues.
Date: August 21, 2018
Creator: Nolan, Andrew & Lewis, Caitlain Devereaux
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The National Popular Vote (NPV) Initiative: Direct Election of the President by Interstate Compact

Description: This report monitors the National Popular Vote's (NPV) progress in the states. It includes sections that provide brief background on the electoral college, history of the National Popular Vote concept, more detail on the NPV initiative, pros and cons for the NPV, legal issues, and concluding observations.
Date: October 25, 2018
Creator: Neale, Thomas H. & Nolan, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Whose Line is it Anyway: Could Congress Give the President a Line-Item Veto?

Description: This report discusses whether Congress could grant the President a line-item veto. The report provides an overview of the Supreme Court's decision in "Clinton v. City of New York" in 1998 and examines what (if any) possibility exists for a constitutional, line-item veto authority for the President.
Date: March 27, 2018
Creator: Nolan, Andrew; Garvey, Todd & Liu, Edward C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: Procedural and Operational Changes

Description: This report begins with an overview of both the FISC and the FISA Court of Review, including the jurisdiction of these courts, how the judges are appointed, and the FISC's practices and procedures for reviewing and issuing surveillance orders. The report then discusses the scope and underlying legal principles behind congressional regulation of the procedures of the federal courts, and applies those principles with respect to the various proposals to reform the FISA judicial review process.
Date: August 26, 2014
Creator: Nolan, Andrew & Thompson, Richard M., II
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Power to Create Federal Courts: A Legal Overview

Description: This report provides an overview of this often difficult and misunderstood area of law, beginning with a discussion of the various types of federal tribunals. The report continues by noting the rationales for why Congress established the breadth of different courts that exist today and concludes with a discussion of the various factors and relevant issues that limit Congress's discretion in establishing federal courts.
Date: October 1, 2014
Creator: Nolan, Andrew & Thompson, Richard M., II
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: Procedural and Operational Changes

Description: This report begins with an overview of both the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court of Review, including the jurisdiction of these courts, how the judges are appointed, and the FISC’s practices and procedures for reviewing and issuing surveillance orders. The report then discusses the scope and underlying legal principles behind congressional regulation of the procedures of the federal courts, and applies those principles with respect to the various proposals to reform the FISA judicial review process.
Date: January 16, 2014
Creator: Nolan, Andrew & Thompson, Richard M., II
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: Introducing a Public Advocate

Description: This report explores all of these difficult constitutional issues prompted by the idea of making Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) court proceedings more adversarial. It includes background on public advocates, their roles and appointment, and Article III issues raised by a FISA public advocate.
Date: March 21, 2014
Creator: Nolan, Andrew; Thompson, Richard M., II & Chu, Vivian S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities and Recent Developments

Description: This report focuses on two main National Security Agency (NSA) collection activities approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978. The first is the bulk collection of telephony metadata for domestic and international telephone calls. The second involves the interception of Internet-based communications and is targeted at foreigners who are not within the United States, but may also inadvertently acquire the communications of U.S. persons.
Date: April 1, 2014
Creator: Liu, Edward C.; Nolan, Andrew & Thompson, Richard M., II
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Introducing a Public Advocate into the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act's Courts: Select Legal Issues

Description: This report explores government surveillance act and other difficult constitutional issues prompted by the idea of including a new adversary in established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) FISA court proceedings.
Date: October 25, 2013
Creator: Nolan, Andrew; Thompson, Richard M., II & Chu, Vivian S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Judge Merrick Garland: His Jurisprudence and Potential Impact on the Supreme Court

Description: This report provides an overview of Judge Garland's jurisprudence and discusses what the impact on the Court might be if he, or a judge of a similar judicial approach, were to be confirmed to succeed Justice Scalia. The report begins with his views on two overarching issues -- the role of the judiciary and statutory interpretation -- it then addresses 14 separate areas of law, which are arranged in alphabetical order from "administrative law" to "takings."
Date: April 27, 2016
Creator: Nolan, Andrew; Manuel, Kate M. & Murrill, Brandon J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Supreme Court October Term 2017: A Preview of Select Cases

Description: This report highlights four of the notable cases of the new term that could impact the work of Congress: (1) Carpenter v. United States, which examines the limits the Fourth Amendment imposes on the warrantless collection of the historical cell phone location records of a criminal suspect; (2) Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), a case exploring whether Congress, by prohibiting a state from partially repealing a state law, impermissibly commandeers the powers of the state; (3) Gill v. Whitford, which considers when a state's redistricting plan amounts to impermissible partisan gerrymandering; and (4) Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which asks whether a baker has a First Amendment right to decline to make cakes for same-sex weddings. Each case is addressed in a separate section that provides background information on the case; summarizes the arguments that were or are likely to be presented to the Court in each case; and examines the implications that the Court's ruling could have for Congress, including broader ramifications for the jurisprudence in a given area of law.
Date: September 19, 2017
Creator: Nolan, Andrew; Brannon, Valerie C.; Garcia, Michael John; Harrington, Ben; Sykes, Jay B. & Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Supreme Court October Term 2016: A Review of Select Major Rulings

Description: This report highlights four particularly notable cases the Court heard and ruled on during the October 2016 term: Matal v. Tam, which examines the interplay between the First Amendment and trademark law; Sessions v. Morales-Santana, a case exploring the relationship between immigration law and the Court's Equal Protection jurisprudence; Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, the latest chapter in the Court's Free Exercise jurisprudence; and Ziglar v. Abbasi, a case limiting the types of damages claims that can be asserted against federal officers for alleged constitutional violations under the Bivens doctrine. Each case is addressed in a separate section below, which provides background information on the case; summarizes the arguments that were presented to the Court; explains the Court's ultimate ruling; and examines the implications that the Court's ruling could have for Congress, including broader ramifications for jurisprudence in a given area of law.
Date: September 15, 2017
Creator: Nolan, Andrew; Brown, Cynthia; Garcia, Michael John; Lewis, Caitlin Devereaux & Peck, Sarah Herman
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department